Network Components Checklists

The checklists given here provides a general idea of the components for different types of networks.

For Building a small LAN

  • Clients computers with NICs installed
  • Server
  • Hub
  • Cabling
  • Networking Operating System Software

For Connecting Offices and Documents

In the above list, the Router for shared Internet access is optional.

For Connecting Dispersed Office Sites

  • Clients with NICs installed
  • Servers
  • Hubs
  • Switches
  • Routers at each location for WAN connections/shared Internet access
  • Access server for dialup access for remote users
  • Cabling
  • WAN service (ISDN/leased line etc.)
  • Network OS software

After the above checklists, now here are some tables given to show a brief description and performance comparison of various network types (these are standard names for network), technology they use and speeds supported by various cable types.

Infrared technologies vary widely. They can be used for transmitting data between PDAs or cell phones.

This technology typically connects at a speed of about 115 Kbps while advanced technologies for connecting 2 networks together between buildings can run as high as 10 Kbps and extend several moles.

Windows XP supports VFIR stands for Very Fast Infrared, which can transmit at up to 16 Mbps.

Network Comparison Chart

The table given here compares various types of networks:

Network Type Cabling Connector Maximum Length Speed
10Base5 RG-8 or RG-11,
Thicknet coaxial
AUI/DIX 500 meters (1640 ft) 10 Mbps
10Base2 RG-58,
Thinnet coaxial
BNC connector 185 meters (607 ft) 10 Mbps
10BaseT Cat 3,4,5,5e,6
twisted pair
RJ-45 100 meters (328 ft) 10 Mbps
100Base-TX Cat 5,5e,6
twisted pair RJ-45 100 meters (328 ft) 100 Mbps
100Base-FX Fiber Optic ST,SC Connectors for fibre optic cables 2 Kilometers (6562 feet) 200 Mbps
100Base-T-Gigabit Ethernet CAT 5,5e,6 RJ-45 100 meters (328 ft) 1 Gbps
802.11b Wireless No cabling.
Uses Access Point (AP) for connection
150+feet 11 Mbps
802.11g Wireless No cabling.
Uses Access Point (AP) for connection
150+feet 54 Mbps
Infrared N/A No cabling.
Uses direct line of sight connections
Varies Up to 16 mbps

Transmission Speeds of Cables

The following table lists the transmission speeds of the various cable types:

Transmission Medium Transmission Speed
Thicknet Coaxial 10 Mbps
Thinnet Coaxial 10 Mbps
Cat 2 twisted pair 4 Mbps
Cat 3 twisted pair 10 Mbps
Cat 4 twisted pair 16 Mbps
Cat 5 twisted pair 100 Mbps
Cat 5e twisted pair 1 Gbps
Cat 6 twisted pair 10 Gbps
Fiber Optic 100 Mbps - 2 Gbps
802.11b 11 Mbps
802.11g 54 Mbps

Choosing of Suitable Medium

Choose Twisted Pair Cable when:

  • Low Cost - It is Cheap
  • Easy Installation - Easy to work with
  • No High Speed data requirements - It has Low data rate. Limited data rate of 100MHz and limited bandwidth of 1MHz
  • Transmission over a Short range

Here are the list of some important factors to keep in mind when using twisted pair cables:

  • If used for Analog transmission - Amplifiers are required every 5 km to 6 km
  • If used for Digital transmission - Repeaters are required every 2 km to 3 km with fast Ethernet, every 100 meters
  • Susceptible to interference and noise

Choose Coaxial Cable when:

  • Television signal distribution has to take place
    • Ariel to TV
    • Cable TV
  • Long distance telephone transmission has to take place - Can carry 10000 voice calls simultaneously
  • Short distance computer systems links required
  • Local area networks are to be formed among some computers

Here are the list of some important factors to keep in mind when using coaxial cables:

  • If used for Analog transmission - Amplifiers are required every 5 km to 6 km
  • If used for Digital transmission - Repeaters are required every 1 km

Choose Fibre Optics when:

  • Greater Data capacity required - Data rates of hundreds of Gbps
  • Lower attenuation is required
  • Secure transmission is desired
  • Cost does not matter - most expensive of guided media

Here is an important factor to keep in mind when using fibre optics:

  • Greater repeater spacing - 10s of km at least, i.e., Repeater required every 10 kms

Choose Radio Waves when:

  • Long distances are to be covered
  • Signals must be able to penetrate walls and buildings
  • Transmission must be omnidirectional or in all directions

Here is an important factor to keep in mind when using radio waves:

  • Health hazards involved

Choose Microwave when:

  • Transmission should be in directional, in a specific direction straight line
  • Cheaper than other unguided media
  • Can be used for long distance telephone service

Here is an important factor to keep in mind when using microwave:

  • Requires repeaters every 30 miles because of Line-of-Sight transmission, curvature of the earth requires stations every 30 miles

Choose Satellite when:

  • When the transmission has to take place over a very large area of Earth
  • Can be used for long distance Television distribution and long distance telephone transmission

Here are the list of some important factors to keep in mind when using satellite:

  • Expensive towers and repeaters
  • Subject to interference such as passing airplanes and rain

Choose Infrared when:

  • You want to transmit without any licensing hassles - no license needed

Here is an important factor to keep in mind when using infrared:

  • Cannot penetrate solid walls

Networking Online Test


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